By Ralph Lewis, Publisher
In 1982 I landed on these beautiful shores to take up a junior post in the Banking Sector of the Cayman Islands. At that time there was no unemployment and school leavers were able to find jobs immediately after graduation.
Like many of my colleagues who were blessed to call Cayman home I took my civic duty seriously and promised to make a positive contribution to my new home. This decision yielded its benefits and I was able to progress in my banking career and eventually to own a successful business.
After early retirement from my banking career, I chose to concentrate my efforts toward helping residents manage their personal finances. This action led to the realization that there was a need to focus on the rising unemployment rate in an era of multiple regular job advertisements in the local Newspaper.
I launched a website, Job Market, and a weekly newspaper, namely Employment Weekly, in March 2013 after following a recommendation from the Minister of Education at that time.
As many business owners and supporters will record, the red tape scenario played out but I was able to overcome the challenge one year later after the Attorney General advised the Government that my publication was legally authorised to advertise jobs for the Work Permit approval process.
Fast-forward to today. Employment is still a major issue requiring everyone’s full attention. The COVID-19 crisis has further exacerbated this problem causing record breaking unemployment levels.
The Government has introduced a number of measures to address this important issue and we hope that they will achieve the expected results in the near future.
What we know is that this issue will be a game changer for the Cayman Islands in relation to economic recovery and the well-being for Caymanians.
Employment has always been that one deciding factor that significantly affects an election’s outcome and we are sure to see these conversations take place on a regular basis.
We have created an economy that is heavily dependent upon imported labour and we cannot rewind the clock. Mandating business owners and job-seekers to register on a Job portal alone will not fix the employment problem.
The Government should create an enabling environment for businesses to flourish thereby creating employment for all. The decision to hire is made by the business owner and in this post COVID-19 climate the decision will be taken in the best interest of the company.
We have always said that Caymanians should not be sidelined but it will also take the community, Government, business owners, job-seekers and all residents to deal with unemployment.
With the domestic economy being heavily relied on while our borders are closed, it is critical that all able-bodied persons be employed in order to enable our economic recovery.
Data is the key that drives an overall Human Capital Development Policy that leads to employment, and this is where an effective Job Portal sits in that equation.
The Caymanian Times will contribute to that equation and the employment conversation by reporting on these areas and will also relaunch its Job Portal “Job Market”.
Starting today, our readers will be able to read our weekly commentaries on Employment and also efforts by local companies to support employment in these Islands.
We applaud Morritt’s efforts for retaining its staff during the COVID – 19 epidemic.
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